CLOVIS, CA. – Top-seeded Vacaville High out of the Sac-Joaquin Section won 9 of 14 bouts and grabbed an impressive 43-22 win as they were triumphant in claiming the Division II California state championship duals. In a dual meet featuring 10 ranked wrestlers by California Flo rankings, head coach Clint Birch’s crew took control late in the last four bouts as they clinched wins in 3 of the 4 to grab the win.
The dual began at 106 where Tyler Riley received a forfeit to give the Bulldogs a 6-0 led. No. 18 Logan Valledor drew blood first as he took Jacob Tapia to his back to record the takedown and near-fall points early on the match. The action was then stopped due to an illegal hold. After the action was re-started, Valledor punished Tapia with his great riding skills before Tapia got the escape. With both athletes scouting each other, Valledor put an end to the match as he once again got the takedown and put Tapia to his back for the second time to earn the fall in 1:19.
Northview got up on the board as No. 16 Adrian Limon earned the 19-8 major decision at 120-pounds; Limon put a takedown clinic as he recorded seven takedowns to none in the match. Sophomore Eric Almarinez, ranked No. 9 at 126, increased the Bulldogs led to 15-4 as he controlled his match over Julian Leon, 3-0.
The 132-match saw Jason Brauning giving up the escape with 7 seconds left to fall to former California state qualifier Evan Azurdia 7-6.
Vacaville won the next two matches as Ethan Birch (138) and Austin Morgan (145) earned hard-fought decisions to help the Bulldogs take a 21-7 lead with seven matches left in the dual meet. Nevertheless, the Vikings didn’t want to go down easy. Wyatt Lewis (152) got the Vikings fans excited as he earned the fall in the first period and Raymond Clark (160) won his match in overtime to make the score 21-16.
The Bulldogs got closer to sealing the deal as Coulter Malone (170) won 13-2 while Jon Collet (182) pinned his opponent to help the Bulldogs take a 31-16 lead with three matches left on the dual. The Vikings needed to win the next three matches via pins to win the dual meet.
The Bulldogs gave up a forfeit at 195-pounds to set up a marquee matchup between state-ranked opponents at 220-pounds between Eric Hayward (Vacaville) and Rigo Estrada (Northview).
Estrada strike first as he got the takedown with a duck under move in 14 seconds to go up 2-0. Whiting seconds, Hayward was up on his feet and out to make the score 2-1. Rigo attempted a fireman’s move that resulted in a scramble. During the scramble, Rigo landed on his back with Hayward on top. It took seconds before the referee slap the mat and call the fall.
The whole Vacaville bench jumped in excitement as Hayward seal the deal to make Vacaville the Division II state champions. No. 3 Chris Island made quick work of his Northview opponent as he got the fall in the first period to make the score 43-22 in favor of the Bulldogs.